Education | National

University to cover murals that depict lynching of Indian man

One mural depicts the lynching of an Indian man. Photo from state of Idaho

The University of Idaho is covering up two murals that depict the lynching of an Indian man.

The murals are located in an old courthouse that part of a new school campus. They have been the subject of considerable debate, with tribal leaders in the state calling them racist.

One mural shows a shirtless Indian man, with his back turned, kneeling by a noose, as two non-Indian man stand with guns. The second depicts some sort of encounter between a group of Indians and non-Indians.

"They're a-historical,” associate dean told Lee Dillion told KIVI-TV, a station that broke the story. “They're the fevered imagination of a Southern California artist and have no connection to the history of Idaho and at all levels they're inappropriate."

After some state lawmakers called for the removal or covering of the images, tribal leaders developed interpretive signs for the murals. They were painted during the Depression era -- the same time as ones at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency that also depict Indian men and women unfavorably.

As of 2014, the Society of American Indian Government Employees said interpretive panels and a screen had yet to be installed at the building.

Get the Story:
University plans to cover up controversial mural of a lynching (KIVI 6/24)
U of I doesn't want lynching mural displayed in old courthouse (The Spokesman-Review 6/25)
Idaho College to Cover Murals Depicting Lynching of American Indian (Reuters 6/25)
University of Idaho doesn't want courthouse murals displayed (AP 6/26)

Related Stories:
Tribes develop signs for controversial murals (10/17)
Controversial Indian murals in Idaho to stay put (4/24)
Idaho tribal leaders view questionable murals (1/18)
Tribal leaders to view controversal murals (1/11)
Images of mural depicting lynching of Indian man (04/13)
Murals depicting lynching of Indian man an issue (4/11)
Indian murals at EPA building to undergo review (03/17)

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